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    Impressive example of Pneumococcal meningitis!

    Meningitis is a clinical syndrome characterized by inflammation of the meninges, the 3 layers of membranes that enclose the brain and spinal cord. These layers consist of the following:

    Dura - A tough outer membrane
    Arachnoid - A lacy, weblike middle membrane
    Subarachnoid space - A delicate, fibrous inner layer that contains many of the blood vessels that feed the brain and spinal cord

    The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms.

    Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation’s proximity to the brain and spinal cord; therefore, the condition is classified as a medical emergency.

    Pneumococcal meningitis occurs when the bacteria that have invaded the bloodstream move across to infect the meninges.

    The meninges are filled with a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is there to bathe the brain and cushion it against physical damage.

    Bacteria can multiply freely in CSF, and there they release poisons, causing inflammation and swelling in the meninges and the brain tissue itself.

    This increases pressure on the brain, producing symptoms of meningitis such as headache, stiff neck and dislike of bright lights.

    Risk factors: -Extremes of age (< 5 or >60 years)
    -Diabetes mellitus, renal or adrenal insufficiency, hypoparathyroidism, or cystic fibrosis
    -HIV infection
    -Splenectomy and sickle cell disease
    -Alcoholism and cirrhosis
    -Recent exposure to others with meningitis
    -Contiguous infection (eg, sinusitis)
    -Intravenous (IV) drug abuse
    -Some cranial congenital deformities

    Read more: www.bit.ly/1j1XDUQ

    Photo credits: Dr. Edwin P. Ewing, Jr.

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    (via thenewenlightenmentage)

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